Honestly not a great deal has happened in the almost 3 years since my release from Butler County Prison; I have traveled, meditated, got a dog, lost friends, reunited with old friends, written and read. I have created art, taken pictures of things that came into existence without my help, and tattooed a handful of people. My philosophy has become more rigid, less forgiving. My best friend, Preston is in prison and I am bitter about this...not that he didn't know the consequences of his actions, I am bitter because of Preston's absence not because the system he came into conflict with. In contrasting and positive news I, myself, have been released from probation after 16 years.
New Castle in the months following my release from Butler County Prison on October 13 2013 was much the same as it has always been. It is an ugly, boring little town with a short man complex. The people of New Castle are much the same...the majority are veterans of the explosion of wanna-be gangsterism that happened in the 90s, then there is a horde of crack and script zombies that litters the streets of the "city", followed by a veritable parade of imaginary MMA professionals, wanna-be rappers, backwards mongrels who believe that life begins and ends New Castle, as well as a higher concentration of ICP fans than I have seen anywhere outside of Detroit. Of course there is a TINY percentage of decent folk who originate from this diseased piece of real estate...but the majority of those who I have had the pleasure of meeting have either left NeCa all together, joined the service or become hermits in their homes and I don't blame any of them.
Obviously New Castle is a sore point for me, so when the chance to abscond arose I jumped on it like it was a trampoline and rode the highway east, east, east until I met Tamaqua. Tamaqua is the home of a former girlfriend of mine named Lauren. I didn't see much of Tamaqua proper, only Lauren's mother's impressive chunk of property. A property which was all the more impressive that it was owned by a woman who works for a whopping 3 days/12 hours a week as a shipping clerk at her father's construction supply company. Not that the woman could work elsewhere...her persona, a finely developed defensive tool can only be described as atrocious. A victim of some degenerative muscle disease or another...she was born with little or no jaw, a series of operations and skin grafts left her looking reasonably "fixed up" but obviously her treatment by her peers as a child with such deformity has left her soul scarred for beyond any sort of healing...lest it be found in a bottle of liquor or in the bed of whatever man would look beyond her outward appearance.
After some time at Lauren's mother's home, and some time with friends in Greensburg Lauren and I moved into an apartment in Allentown, PA. I moved to Allentown under the understanding that Lauren was abstaining from heroin, an understanding I would later learn was erroneous. For the most part Allentown went by in a flash. I was, at that time, locked into a healthy pain pill habit and spent much of my time in Allentown at Art and Soul Tattoos, meeting up with my friends from Nuttin But Luv and just exploring that little city...which I later learned wasn't little at all, but our(Pennsylvania's)3rd largest city. It was great to actually meet up with my friend Gina after all this time, and I was more than grateful that she basically introduced and brought me into her circle of friends. I did have a good time out there, made some new friends and would definitely like to revisit the Lehigh Valley someday. Walking in on Lauren preparing to shoot heroin when she was "clean and serene" to my knowledge was a huge bummer...but its not as if I am bubbling over with hope for humanity.
My return west put me into a very uncomfortable situation, being roommates with a longtime friend, Jenn, who on one hand I was very fond of but on the other was repulsed by. I think I should mention that I would not have been repulsed by this person had she been happy to simply be friends...as we always had. Jenn and I had never been romantic, so for her to suddenly approach the issue with me coming out of a year long relationship was highly inappropriate to say the least. Her timing was the least of the considerations preventing us from being intimate, really. Sadly Jenn desperately throwing herself at me made me look at her in a different light...she ceased to be a quirky friend, becoming an embodiment of everything that I find undesirable in a woman. When she would question why I wouldn't ever see her as anything but a platonic friend, I had to look closely at the answer. Jenn was and is the exact opposite of what I desire in a girlfriend...she is physically repulsive to me, from her spotty, dead fish, white trash complexion to her dry straw-bail hair to her textbook "Laziness plus fast food equals what?" body type she was unattractive. Both her persona and fashion sense only accentuated her unattractiveness...I understand that few people meet up fully to ANYONE's standards, let alone my own, but Jenn is that rare woman who simply had NO redeeming quality. Strange that a person could be so completely repulsive, but that is the case...it is unfortunate that it was a friend of mine who was that repulsive to me, more unfortunate that she forced me to see it.